Superintendent's Memo #163-09

State seal, Commonwealth of Virginia

Department of Education

June 12, 2009

TO: Division Superintendents

FROM: Patricia I. Wright, Superintendent of Public Instruction

SUBJECT: 2010-2011 Race/Ethnicity Standards

On October 19, 2007, the U.S. Department of Education published Final Guidance on the new revised standards for collecting data on race and ethnicity in the Federal Register (72 Fed. Reg. 59267). Effective in the 2010-2011 school year, state educational agencies, local educational agencies, postsecondary institutions, and U.S. Department of Education grantees will be required to use the new race and ethnicity standards. The new race and ethnicity categories allow multicultural individuals to fully recognize their heritage.

The Virginia Department of Education is using "Managing an Identity Crisis: Forum Guide to Implementing New Federal Race and Ethnicity Categories" as a reference for implementation of the new standards in the Commonwealth. This guide was written by the National Forum on Education Statistics and was released in September 2008. It can be viewed or ordered at

The Virginia Department of Education will host 12 webinars between July and December to discuss the requirements of the federal register and to start a dialog about local implementation with participants. Divisions are encouraged to attend the webinars as needed. The agenda will remain consistent but the dialog is expected to change as local plans to implement the new standards are developed.

Registration for the New Federal Race Ethnicity webinars can be found at

Questions or comments relating to the 2010-2011 Race and Ethnicity requirements should be directed to Educational Applications at or (804) 786-3112 (select menu option 4).